When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” Luke 7:9 (NLT)
Years ago, I studied Matthew and Mark at the same time in two different ladies’ Bible studies. I thought it would be repetitive and maybe even a little boring. The fact is, I was blown away by those studies. And the theme that Jesus seemed to focus on was faith.
In John 6, Jesus criticizes the disciples for their lack of faith because they panicked after they had just seen Jesus do an amazing miracle of feeding thousands. And then in Matthew 14, Peter steps out of the boat into the raging sea and walks on water! When he takes his eyes off Jesus, he begins to sink.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Matthew 14:31 (NLT)
But the story found above in Luke 7 is an amazing example of faith. The centurion asks for Jesus’s help to heal his servant, then sends his people to tell Jesus not to come since he had faith Jesus could heal his servant by just a word.
Christ responds with,
“I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” Luke 7:9 (NLT)
The Bible describes saving faith — which I am surely glad Christ gave to me. Otherwise, I would still be condemned for my sin. Another kind of faith is everyday faith, believing that God is in charge. That is where it is hard. Right now there is a crisis in my family. Do I believe God can heal? Yes. Kind of. I’m asking but also giving the Lord a way out.
In Paul Miller’s book, A Praying Life, he talks about coming to the Lord like a child. No pretense. No hypocrisy. So that is what I am doing. I am pleading with the Lord to heal this person. I will not be able to go or to be near, so, I am asking the Lord to do the healing without me.
Do I believe He will? I know He can.
And I am coming and asking.
How is your faith? Do you need saving faith? Ask the Lord. Do you need everyday-life-faith? Ask the Lord.
James 1:5-6 speaks about asking for wisdom:
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” (NLT)
So maybe I start with wisdom. And then just pour out my heart.
Lord, we repeat the same request that the worried father did in Mark 9, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” We know that faith is important to you, but we need help — like with everything else in our lives. We pray this prayer in faith with thanksgiving. Thank you for how You will answer. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Pauline Hylton, used with permission.